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Saturday, April 9, 2011

How do you choose what book to buy?

When I was younger (like, elementary school), I'd flip through the Scholastic Book order-form and choose books based on the summary. Same with the book fair and the library. On towards junior high and high school, like most teens, I loved going to the mall. But invariably, I spent all my time in the bookstore. Trying to decide which book to buy. (I didn't start caring about fashion and clothes until, um, college. Did I just admit that?)

One of the worst things I ever did was join a book club. I'm sure this works great for some people, but me, well, you can't judge a book by its cover, or its jacket. I had so many books that were just unreadable. Awful! I hate buying a book only to discover that you can't stand it!

After that I began borrowing heavily from roommates and the library. Isn't it great when you find an author you love? Then you can just buy their books at leisure, confidant that you'll enjoy everything they write.

Now I don't buy books unless they've been recommended to me. Sure, I can look at a book review, but opinions are so varied. It's when friends of mine who have enjoyed what I enjoy and like what I like say, "This book is awesome!" that I decide to buy it. I'll admit, it's hard to venture out and try new writers. At least for me. The feeling of disappointment when the book doesn't hold up to its promises dampers any adventurous-book-shopping plans I may have had for the future.

That's why I'm realizing how important it is to do things like blog tours and goodreads. If my friend's blog says the book is great, I'm 100% more likely to look at the book than if the blog said nothing. (Seriously. And sometimes it takes seven of such blogs before I add the book to my shopping list.)

What are your shopping habits? Do you buy spontaneously? Or go to the store with a book in mind? Or both? When my book comes out, are you going to buy it based on a pretty cover and nice summary, or because all of your friends recommend it? (Just wondering who I'm going to have to bribe here...)

7 comments:

M Pax said...

I read the blurbs. If they interest me, I may buy the book. Sometimes I'm looking for something in a specific genre or by a specific author. I buy my friends' books just because they wrote them, whether they interest me or not.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I don't buy books unless I've read them, OR if it's a part of a series that I LOVE. I just can't bring myself to buy a book without me reading it first. What if I hate it? What if it's horrible? I have bought a few without reading them, since they came highly recommended by trusted friends or family, or I LOVED the author's online presence. Example (Paranormalcy by Kiersten White) But normally I check them out from the library first. :)

Kate Larkindale said...

I can't afford to buy books much, so I tend to use the library. In fact, the last book I actually bought was yours, Tamara!

Aaron and Emily said...

Same as Kate.

Vicky said...

I'm not nearly as picky as I used to be. I"m a big cover-judger myself, and since I can only afford to buy about one new book a month, I do a lot of summary research, review reading, and googling of the author. But the biggest seller for me is the happy ending. If I find out a book has a sad ending, I'm probably not going to read it. Yup, I'm that kind of girl.

Theresa Milstein said...

I think I've had a similar choosing book journey to you. Now, if I don't find it in a bookstore, I use Amazon reviews, Goodreads, and friend recommendations.

The other day, I wrote a post about being suspicious of gushing book reviews. Here's the link, if you want to take a look:

http://theresamilstein.blogspot.com/2011/04/reviews-and-responsibilities.html

Shannon Lawrence said...

I usually buy from Amazon, though I love the feel and smell of the brick and mortar stores. I just don't have the time to go to the book store by myself, sans children. On Amazon, I usually go looking for a specific book/author then I check out the related books they put up there. I've found some real keepers that way. I do also go by friends' recommendations.

Good luck on the A to Z Challenge!

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